Raptor Watch Slow And Some Good News

The past 4 days have been painfully slow raptor wise. There were no counts on 2 days and little to count the other 2. A total of only 10 raptors was seen over the 4 days. A Merlin,a Goshawk,a Turkey Vulture,a Kestrel,a Redtail,a Harrier and 4 Sharpshins were observed.

The good news...U have no doubt noticed the changes to the site. Thanks to Lee for her work on the site. Her help has changed the look of the site for the better and added a few things to help out users. Thanks MUCH Lee!

October..Rosetta McClain Raptor Watch In The News

In late September Peter Wood contacted me to do an article about the raptor watch and myself. Below is his article, for anyone who hasnt seen it locally.  It is in The Bluffs Monitor, which reaches about 25000 local Scarborough residents.  We have already had a few visitors as a result of the article.  Peter writes a monthy column for the Monitor, called Birds of Bluffers Park.  Thanks again to Peter for his interest and for doing the article.


Hawk Watch With BIGFRANK

Frank Butson has a passion, he has an expertise and perhaps most importantly, he is willing to share it.  The passion is for raptors, that is, predatory birds such as hawks, eagles, vultures and Osprey.

During the fall migration, which begins in September and continues to the end of November, Frank can be found at Rosetta McClain Gardens, looking out over the Bluffs searching the sky for migrating raptors.  He identifies them, records the species and numbers, photographs them and posts the information to the internet.

Frank began hawk watching as a member of the High Park watch group.  As an "east-ender" he was excited to discover that the Scarborough Bluffs was on a "fly way" or migration route for raptors.  It began as personal enjoyment but soon developed into an educational project.  So, five years ago, he set up shop at Rosetta McClain and began to invite people to join him - "all ages,all skill levels" he likes to say, thats what "keeps it fresh" for him.  He is rewarded by the amazement and joy that he brings to park visitors.  So far this year the watch has been highlighted by 70 Ospreys, over 400 birds of prey in one day and 3 Peregrine Falcons flying together.

There is a serious side to this work as well.  When I asked Frank why he does this he told me about Red-shouldered Hawks.  These birds have been diminishing in numbers for many years.  People may not be aware of the decline, but if they actually see one, they may come closer to understanding as Frank says "It does matter."  As a volunteer with The Canadian Peregrine Foundation, he is proud that Peregrines have recently been removed from the endangered species list............The article goes on to give the webstie and location of the park.

This Saturday,a group of birders Peter leads will visit the park,as will The Toronto Field Naturalists. Hopefully the day will bring more raptors then I expect. Thanks to all my raptor watch friends for all each adds to the project. The efforsts of each one of you makes a difference.

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